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Aquastorm Coaching Staff

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact Thomas Wheeling our Program Director.

Coaching Staff

Jeff Steele

Head Coach

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Since accepting the Head Coaching Position in Bismarck in August 2012 for the Aquastorm Swim Team Jeff has lead Aquastorm to their 18th Consecutive State Championship. Jeff had been the head coach of the West Fargo Flyers since May 2007.  Jeff lead the Flyers to seven consecutive state titles in his first seven seasons in West Fargo receiving Coach of the Year honors in Long Course of 2007 and Long Course of 2009, Short Course 2012 and Long Course 2012. As Aquastorm's Head Coach he has coached numerous state champions, zone, sectional, junior and senior national qualifiers.  

He grew up in Bismarck and began his swimming career at age 13 with the Bismarck YMCA Golden Seals swim team in 1992. He competed in club swimming through his senior year as well as the Bismarck High School Swim Team until his graduation in 1996. From there swam at UND where a shoulder injury ended his swimming career as an athlete.   

His coaching career began in 1998 as an assistant coach for the Bismarck and Bismarck Century Boys High School Teams. From there he moved to Fargo and stepped in to the role of the Fargo North Girls High head coach from 1999 to 2005.  As coach of the North girls, Jeff was named North Dakota High School Coach of the Year three times and was also names EDC Coach of the Year five times.  From 1999 to 2002, Jeff was also the assistant coach for the Fargo North Boys Team.  

Jeff started coaching club, in addition to HS teams, in 2000.  From 2000 - 2006 he was the Head Coach for the Fargo- Moorhead YMCA Gators winning 5 consecutive state titles. In his 8 seasons with the FMY Gators, Jeff coached 29 National Qualifiers with 13 in his last season alone. He also coached 4 YMCA All-Americans, and numerous state champions and record holders. As the Gators Head Coach, he also received 4 Coach of the Year awards. During this time coaching the Gators, Jeff has been the ND Zone Team Head Coach twice and also Assistant Zone Team Coach multiple times.

Jeff is married to his wife Tara who is an elementary school teacher, and they have three children, ages, 12, 10, and 8.

Thomas Wheeling

Coaching Staff/Program & Meet Director

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I grew up in Minot, ND and began competitive swimming at the age of 9 for Minot Swim Club. I swam for MSC for ten years as well as four years at Minot High where I was a member of 4 undefeated state championship teams from 1999 until I graduated in 2002. 
 
After high school I began my coaching career in the fall of 2004.  I coached for Erik Ramstad Middle School girls and boys swim teams for 8 years and 7 years respectively as the head coach for girls and assistant coach for boys.  My girls team won the school's second ever city championship in 2008 and my boys won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007. 
 
I worked as an assistant coach for ASK swim club in 2010 and 2011 for two seasons before leaving to take the Head Girls Coaching position for Williston High School in August of 2011.  I was the Head Girls coach for 2 seasons and the Head Boys Coach there for 1 season.  I was named WDA Boys Coach of the Year in 2013. After that season I returned home to Minot where I served as assistant coach for Jim Hill Middle School under my wife Leah where we guided our teams to both the boys and girls city championship in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
 
In August of 2014 we moved to Bismarck and I served as an assistant boys coach for the Century Patriots swim team for one year, winning the state title in 2015.  I also joined Aquastorm as an assistant coach in the fall of 2014.  In the fall of 2015 I became the first Head Coach of the Legacy High School girls and boys swim teams.  During the 2015-16 school year I also served as the Head Coach of the Bismarck Demons boys swim team.  In August of 2016 I served as an assistant coach on Team ND at Central Megazones in Indianapolis.    In November of 2016 I was named WDA Girls Co-Coach of the Year.  I've been very blessed in my career to have coached many record holders, all state swimmers and champions.  In June of 2017 I became Program Director of Aquastorm in addition to my coaching duties and am excited to help guide our club to the next level.  I also served as an assistant coach for Team ND at Central Zones in Rochester in August of 2017.  I became the Head Coach for Zones for Team ND in Minneapolis, MN in 2018.  I served one year as Senior Vice Chair on the NCLSC Board of Directors before stepping down to be able to become the Coaches Rep on the NDLSC Board in July of 2018.  I also am in my second term on the NDHSAA Swimming Advisory Board (2015-18 and 2018-2021).
 
I've been married to my wife Leah for 5 years and she teaches 7th grade PE and Health at Simle Middle School where she coaches Cross Country, Track and also serves as my assistant boys swim coach for Legacy.

Amber Donat

Coaching Staff

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I graduated high school from Detroit Lakes High School in Minnesota. I swam competitively for 3 years but due to a shoulder injury I was unable to compete my senior year.ý Currently, I am an avid runner and enjoy doing half marathons. I have also competed in two Sprint Triathlons and hope to possibly move up to the Olympic distance this year.

I attended college at NDSU and majored in elementary education. After college, I spent two years in Las Vegas as a third grade teacher. After moving to Bismarck I have worked as a Daycare Director and also taught third grade in a private school. Currently, I am working at Simle Middle School as an Aide in the Intellectual Disabilities room and hope to eventually begin teaching either Math or Science at Simle.

I am married and have two children. My son Logan is 6 and in kindergarten and my daughter McKayla is almost 9 and in 3rd grade. My daughter is also a swimmer for Aquastorm and loves every minute of it. I am looking forward to working with your children and hope to give them the love for swimming that my daughter has received as an Aquastorm Team member.

Brett Donat

Coaching Staff

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Erik Meidinger

Coaching Staff

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Jeremy J Duckwitz

Coaching Staff

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Matt Waldner

Coaching Staff

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Board of Directors

Greg Birnbaum

President

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JoDell Bourgois

Treasurer

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Karin Gardner

Masters

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Scott Becker

At Large Member

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Mary Palmer

At Large Member

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Jane Wick

Board Member

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Joe Gruman

At Large Board Member

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